Mayor Bruce Teague lifts Iowa City mask mandate

New CDC metrics place Johnson County in a “medium” COVID-19 Community Level, meaning mask recommendations are eased for the county.


Gabby Drees

Mayor Bruce Teague speaks at an Iowa City City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Teauge gave his State of the City address, the city council heard concerns from the Center of Worker Justice, and the city council discussed meeting protocols.

Caleb McCullough, Executive Editor

Iowa City residents will no longer be required to wear masks inside public and city buildings starting Tuesday, after Mayor Bruce Teague lifted the city mask mandate on Monday. 

Iowa City reintroduced the mask requirement for the second time in August 2021, as COVID-19 cases were once again surging fueled by the delta variant of the coronavirus. The mandate has been in place since then.

Johnson County is at a “medium” COVID-19 Community Level, according to new CDC metrics, which take into account hospital bed use.

“New cases of COVID-19 are decreasing and hospitalizations due to the illness continue to fall,” Teague said in a press release Monday. “I ask the entire Iowa City community to continue to do your part to prevent the spread of this disease. Make responsible choices. Isolate or quarantine when necessary. And wear a mask if you’re a risk to others.”

The decision was made in light of the new recommendations from the CDC, which say that healthy people in low or medium level counties do not need to wear masks in most public settings, the press release said.

The press release encouraged people in the county to get vaccinated. Johnson County has a vaccination rate of 71.7 percent, according to the press release. 

Businesses and events may still require masks, the press release said, and it encouraged residents to follow policies of individual businesses and venues. 

Those who feel they should continue wearing masks are urged to keep doing so,” the release said. 

Masks will continue to be required in public transportation, such as city buses, in accordance with federal law, the release said.